Doctor Dies Undergoing Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery

Another family is coming forward saying their loved one died during a popular plastic surgery procedure in South Florida.

Daryl Thompson spoke exclusively to the NBC 6 Investigators about the death of his mother, Dr. Christina Thompson.

"I lost my best friend. I lost my mother," said Daryl Thompson. "It’s hard, it’s a day to day struggle."

Daryl Thompson said his mother died due to complications undergoing a fat transfer, which is commonly referred to as Brazilian Butt Lift. That’s when fat is taken from a patient’s stomach or back and injected into their backside.

Daryl Thompson’s mother, Dr. Christina Thompson, was a well-known doctor in the Bahamas. She traveled to a clinic in Lauderhill in July of 2015 to undergo plastic surgery.

"She was very caring. She was one of those doctors that if you couldn’t pay all your bills she didn’t mind, she’d do all she could to make sure you were alright,” her son, Daryl, said.

Christina Thompson had made plans with her son after the procedure was done with her surgeon, Dr. Christopher Kelly.

"She was just looking forward to her procedure getting over so we could go get something to eat, because you’re not supposed to eat before," Daryl said.

Her son thought it was going to be a simple procedure until paramedics rushed his mother to the emergency room.

"She kept crashing and she crashed like four or five times in the emergency room," Daryl said.

Christina Thompson died. She was 54 years old.

"It was a shock. It’s still a shock, because people still call looking for her," he said.

Daryl Thompson’s attorney, Andrew Yaffa of Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen Trial Lawyers, said he's preparing to file a lawsuit. He claims Thompson’s doctor removed and injected too much fat during the procedure.

"This should not have happened," Yaffa said. "They took more than double the amount they’re allowed to take and then injected way too much fat for which there was room."

In a statement the attorney for Dr. Kelly, Mark Leibowitz, denied the allegations. The statement said in part: "The Florida Administrative Code allows far more supernatant fat to be removed than was done in this surgery, which was performed in a registered office surgical setting. The amount of fat transferred back into the patient was also well within the guidelines. Unfortunately, this patient succumbed to a known complication of this surgical procedure."

Medical examiner records show Christina Thompson died of “acute pulmonary adipose tissue emboli” which is commonly referred to as a fat embolism. According to the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons, that’s when a piece of fat gets into someone’s blood stream and causes them to stop breathing.

Doctors say a patient dying of a fat embolism during plastic surgery is a rare occurrence. The NBC 6 Investigators have identified six women who have died of fat embolism while undergoing a Brazilian Butt Lifts in South Florida during the past six years. That includes Heather Meadows, a mother of two, whose death was widely publicized after undergoing plastic surgery in May.

Daryl Thompson said he hopes the story of what happened to his mother will help make more women aware of the risk.

"If it’s not a necessity you should just walk away because we can live without these things, these aren’t important things,” said Daryl Thompson.

In a statement, Dr. Kelly’s attorney said: "As a physician herself, [Christina Thompson], the patient was acutely aware of the potential for a fat embolus occurring during a fat transfer. The consent forms utilized and signed by her are detailed in their description of that risk."

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